Life Narrative Created From Default Photo Album (2011)

A Celebration of Life from

Description from Mike Gutierrez from his blog:

"What are the formal requirements for a life narrative memorial? Let's try to piece it together based on the montage content below in the hopes of finding some sort of formal governing structure.

We have, in order: 1) a baby (during Christmas?)
2) a baby, saddled on Mom's (?) shoulder, facing the camera
3) a multicultural child's birthday party, circa elementary school
4) a walk on the beach with Dad (?), dog, and children
5) learning to ride a bike
6) graduation day (high school? college?)
7) wedding
8) crazy (old) lady clutching Siberian Huskie in cold weather

First, we clearly see a commitment to a chronological arc, starting with baby shots and ending with a shot of a (widowed?) crazy lady who has been emotionally abandoned by everyone in her life except the animals she forces her companionship upon. Second, we see that most of the intervening points of interest are moments of achievement: (1) birth is the greatest achievement of all, or at lest the first; (2) from googly-eyed to self-aware, the baby achieves sentience in the turn toward the camera; (3) friendship is the first foray outside of the circle of family, a notable step into the public sphere; (4) childhood is about exploring boundaries, like the edge of the ocean -- at first under the watchful eye of guardian figures: dogs and fathers; (5) mastery of technology, the dominion of the earth's natural resources, a practical education in the laws of physics and self-possession of personal motor skills; (6) the full introduction into the public realm; (7) shocked and cowed low by the savagery outside the home, the modern autonomous individual seeks out a partner in life for emotional and financial support; (8) nothing good lasts forever, the dream of satiated love fades into the grim realization that loneliness is our only reliable companion -- the nihilism of pet owners.

The general narrative is one of repetitive, meaningless achievement that grinds the individual down until he or she retreats into the inner recesses of hollow, solitary self-pleasure.

Exhibited at: